Saturday February 7, 2009
Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labour. Proverbs 12:24.
We are all leaders in some way, and how far our influence spreads depends on whether we take our leadership seriously or not. To abdicate that leadership, especially in our families, is likely to make us—and what is worse, our children also—followers of destructive and manipulating influences from elsewhere. Yet how we extend our influence still remains something of a mystery to me.
Our three daughters live in eastern and western Canada and New Zealand, major distances apart. But having just spent eight days together with them, for us the most rewarding part was watching their interaction and obvious love for each other and their lavish appreciation for Ann and I. Seeing the breakup, anger and upset that so many other families endure, I wonder why ours should be so close knit.
It is all too easy to commend ourselves, the ideal upbringing we accomplished, and above all our commitment to our Christian faith as the reason. But any diligence we may have practiced cannot be the final answer. For one thing, there are many parents that have a greater commitment to these ideals than we and have still suffered broken relationships. Also, there is always the regret that we failed in so many areas in our children’s growth. I’m sure that most parents feel this and their children will enlighten them if they don’t!
Mystified as I am with this process, it simply reflects that finally God is a mystery. In fact, that mystery is the source of all vitality and meaning in this life. The one thing I do know is that to raise children to be happy and productive adults is beyond our ability, they will make their own decisions despite our care for them. We can only aim to be good parents and then pray and trust God to oversee our children whatever the outcome.